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Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) sprint head-to-head for victory in the finale of stage 4
White buoyed by tight contest
Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) may have been pipped into second place by Arnaud Demare (FDJ) in a photo finish for the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, but the Australian is confident a win is not too far away.
Demare led out the sprint with 200 metres remaining in the 161km stage, with Goss and eventual third-place getter Tyler Farrar (Garmin Sharp) left to chase. With 50 metres left to race, Goss came around the Frenchman's left-hand side in a bid to pass, with just millimetres separating the pair on the line. The Australian admitted that he ran out of metres when it came down to the final sprint. Farrar was a clear third by two bike lengths to Demare and Goss.
"It's always disappointing not to win, especially when the guys did such a good job for me," said Goss. "I've had a run of second places these last two years, and obviously a win is the goal."
The 26-year-old has finished as runner-up on four occasions this season, with 11 podium finishes to his name in 2012 in what was a frustrating if not consistent year. With illness playing havoc with his Giro d'Italia campaign, eventually forcing an early exit, Goss told Cyclingnews in the lead-up to the Tour de Suisse that he was keen to get a win under his belt before the Tour de France, with his last victory coming at Tirreno-Adriatico in March. The result on Tuesday, should give him a knowing boost that he's on the right track.
"It would have been nice to knock out the win early this week, but I'm happy with my sprint and with how the team worked together," he continued. "I'll take confidence from today and hope to pull out the win later in the week."
Wednesday's fifth stage looms as another opportunity for the sprinters and the finish is reasonably straight forward, so contenders won't need to be as reliant on positioning as they were on Stage 4. There is however, a slight incline over the last 500 metres which should work in Goss' favour.
Orica GreenEdge head into this year's Tour de France chasing their first win in the event, having missed out in the team's inaugural season. Speaking to Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning, returning sports director Matt White said he believed that the squad was in good shape heading into the French Grand Tour which begins in June 29. With the team largely focused on stage wins for Goss, White was then pleased to see the sprinter come so close on Tuesday.
"It's good to see Gossy sprinting like that again," said White. "At the Giro, he was ill. He's completely recovered now and looking for the win. He has more opportunities in coming days."
For Goss meanwhile, familiarity of a well-honed lead out, certainly was a factor.
"This is the first time that Daryl [Impey], Stuey [O'Grady], Cookie [Baden Cooke] and I are racing together since the Tour de France," he explained. "They all rode really well for me, and I felt good in the sprint. If we keep riding like this, I can be confident that a win isn't too far away."
Orica GreenEdge's general classification hope, Cameron Meyer finished safely in the main bunch to maintain his spot at 11th overall, 1:42 behind overall leader Mathias Frank (BMC).